Dog Bite Third Party Liability

Dog bite attacks often cause significant injuries and victims can incur many expenses for treatment.  In any dog bite case, it is important to determine who was liable for the attack.  Most of the time, it is the dog owner who is liable for the attack.  However, there are many cases where a third party may be liable for certain damages suffered.

Sometimes people’s jobs bring them into contact with dogs, and when a worker suffers an on the job dog bite injury, he can pursue both a California worker’s compensation case and a third party liability lawsuit against the owner of the dog.  For example, when a dog injures a postal worker in the course of delivering mail, this sets up a more complicated type of injury case litigation.

Another third party that may be considered following a dog attack is the property owner.  All owners of properties that are open to the public have a legal responsibility to provide reasonably safe environment for the visitors.  Property owners who have dangerous dogs on the premises may be held liable for any injuries the dog causes.

There is another basis for imposing liability for a California dog attack or dog bite accident.  Liability in an injury case involving a dog or other animal may also be based on negligence or negligence per se.  If it is shown that a dog is not properly controlled, handled, liability may be based on negligently controlling the dog.  Negligence is a theory that can be used when there are others besides the dog owner that contributed to the dog attack to whom the California dog bite statute does not apply.

California’s dog bite law (California Civil Code section 3342) makes dog owners strictly liable for damages caused by their dog, “regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”  Although the statute makes the owner automatically liable, other persons in control of the dog (such as a dog walker) could also be found liable in some cases.

There is another basis for imposing liability for a California dog attack or dog bite accident.  Liability in an injury case involving a dog or other animal may also be based on negligence or negligence per se.  If it is shown that a dog is not properly controlled, handled, liability may be based on negligently controlling the dog.  Negligence is a theory that can be used when there are others besides the dog owner that contributed to the dog attack to whom the California dog bite statute does not apply.  For example, if the person acted negligently or if the person know or should have known the dog’s likelihood of biting then they may be liable.

There are a few exceptions to the dog bite law, under which an owner would not be liable.  One is when veterinarians and other professionals who make their living working with dogs “assume the risk” of dog bites as part of their job.  Another is when the dog is provoked, such as a child who hits the animal with a stick.

Determining liability in a dog bite or dog bite attack can be complex.  If you or a loved one was injured in a dog bite case contact the California dog bite attorneys at the Liljegren Law Group today.  Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling dog bite liability cases and will help you get the compensation you deserve.  Call us today at 866-613-9906 for a free legal consultation.  We have offices conveniently located in Escondido, Oceanside, Temecula, La Mesa, Huntington Beach, Big Bear and Palm Desert.  The Liljegren Law Group will fight aggressively to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.

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